Breast engorment is normal around 72 hrs after delivery of the placenta. A mother’s milk also increases due to IV fluids she received during labor, and this swelling can make it difficult to breastfeed. Problems can occur when the increased tautness of the breast tissue flattens the nipple and makes it difficult for the baby to draw the nipple deep into her mouth.
One approach that can help is softening the mother’s breast. This technique is called reverse-pressure softening: Apply gentle pressure to Mom’s areola and soften it by moving the swelling farther back into the breast. Once the areola area is softer, Baby has a better chance at a good latch.
If you are experiencing chills, fever, and severe pain in your breasts, you should see your health care provider immediately – you may have mastitis – an infection of the breast.
Worried About Your Milk Supply?
If you’re worried that you’re not producing enough milk for your baby, start counting diapers. Optimally, your baby needs to be using up about 10-12 diapers a day. That’s three to four poopy diapers, and seven to nine wet diapers every day. Change your baby often, and track the diaper contents in a journal so you’ll know how many diapers he’s going through. Be careful with high-absorbency disposables, sometimes it’s hard to find a sign of wetness. If you’re not sure if he’s wetting enough, try cloth diapers for a day or two.
Breastfeeding Concerns: Nurse With Confidence
Breastmilk is a gift to your baby, and nursing provides lifelong benefits such as resistance to allergies, and even higher IQ. Not everyone is able to nurse, for a variety of reasons, but preparing now, while you’re pregnant, can give you a head start in your journey to motherhood.
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WomensHealth.gov. Breastfeeding: Why breastfeeding is important. (2011). Office on Women’s Health. Accessed October 11, 2013.
Mohammadzadeh A, Farhat A, Esmaeily H. The effect of breast milk and lanolin on sore nipples. (2005). Saudi Medical Journal. Accessed October 11, 2013.
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Medline Plus. Breastfeeding Tips: Breastfeeding Positions. (2013). Accessed October 11, 2013.
Mayo clinic staff. Mastitis: Definition. (2012). Mayo Clinic. Accessed October 11, 2013.© Copyright 2013 Annette Aviles: Breastfeeding, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Pregnancy
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